How the metaverse could disrupt the in-car experience

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Recently with all the interest in augmented reality (AR) and metavers, car companies are considering bringing AR elements in vehicles. An increasing number of in-car infotainment systems, for example, are now integrated into the AR as part of their augmented GPS navigation systems, displaying holographic arrows on the live image feed from the front of the car.

Some automakers are trying to take this adoption of AR a step further by introducing metavores in vehicles. The experience in the car can be introduced through an interactive holographic windscreen or by introducing avatars in passenger seats. While this presents opportunities for entertainment and education, it also opens the door to distractions and more widespread advertising.

The use of AR in cars has been limited until recently. The first AR head-up display (HUD) was the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, produced in 2018 in the Mercedes A-Class. Its GPS on the internal display clearly highlights junction exits and end destinations, with potential hazards such as potholes, pedestrians and other vehicles on the road. Since its inception, other companies, including BMW, Continental, and Hyundai, have introduced AR into their own infotainment systems.

There are still no commercially available vehicles with AR HUD directly on the windscreen, however, there are some concept cars that have demonstrated the technology. For example, WayRay has developed a holographer, which has been described as ‘metavars on wheels’ due to its heavy reliance on AR technology. It is an electric ride-hauling concept car that can be driven away from the AR pod by a qualified driver, giving the car a sense of autonomy by avoiding the currently immature fully autonomous-driving systems. Vitaly Ponomarev, founder and CEO of WayRay, has stated that he expects the car to be introduced with a major automaker by 2025, but also said that Holograktor could be used as an example for other OEMs with WayRay’s AR. Wants to make a similar car. Technology

The car promises a number of entertainment opportunities: its seats are equipped with joysticks that can be used to play games with others in meteors on windscreen AR HUDs, and it also comes preloaded with Guitar Hero-Escu online karaoke game. There are also advertising opportunities. According to Ponomarev, “The idea is that you can choose the Uber Black, the Uber SUV or the Uber HoloGractor. And if you choose a holographer, your ride will be subsidized by sponsored materials so the cost will be much lower. “

It is unclear whether consumers will want to bring such visuals to their travels. For example, it may be helpful to have some sponsored content on the windscreen if you’re actively looking for a restaurant or museum, but otherwise, having constant ads around your perimeter can disrupt the privacy that some people find in the ride-hailing experience. .

One of the holographic sales issues is that it learns your routes, habits and preferences and can even anticipate your next trip, the issue of data usage needs to be addressed. With increasingly large catalogs of misconduct by Internet companies, both regulators and consumers are beginning to have doubts about how data is handled. If Holograktor offers the data it collects to tech companies and other advertisers, it could result in highly personalized and potentially aggressive advertising. With incredibly low levels of public confidence in Big Tech companies, it’s unclear whether consumers will be willing to drop this data for a lower ride price.

Nissan has also taken a step towards Metawors with its I2V Invisible to Visible AR concept, which it launched at CES 2019. The system highlights obstacles that are not obvious to the driver through the display inside the vehicle to increase safety and driver comfort. The system also allows individuals to appear as 3D avatars in the passenger seat of the vehicle if the driver is wearing AR goggles. This could be a family member or friend to keep you company on the long drive or a local guide to answer questions and make recommendations. Nissan hopes to bring technology to its vehicles by 2025.

Again, the new social and educational opportunities that may come from this are exciting. By merging the real and virtual worlds, individuals can connect with friends at home and travel anywhere in the world. It can usually be interacted with the avatars of your loved ones after long and tedious drives. Drivers can experience the world around them through a local eye or even over a completely different period of time through an AR overlay.

However, the main issue – and the more common obstacle to the widespread adoption of metavars and AR in vehicles – is the safety-critical issue of being able to see the outside world clearly while man is driving. If the AR overlay is not accurate enough, drivers can be misled and lead to accidents. If the overlay is too distracting, drivers may miss important information about obstacles and barriers. These issues should be of central importance to automotive companies seeking to adopt AR in vehicles.

Emilio Kempa is a thematic team analyst at Data Analytics and Consultancy GlobalData.

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